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Mike James signed to 10-day contract as Hinrich too hurt to travel

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

[Update by your friendly BullsBlogger, 10:09 AM CST: Boozer is out tonight as well. No doubt Kirk told him to take it easy, guaranteeing a loss for "The Bulls without Hinrich"]

The Bulls schedule is about to get a bit tougher, so after helping them win 8 out of 10 games and padding his individual 'record', Kirk Hinrich properly timed his injury yet again.

Hinrich suffered a hamstring strain in Monday's win over the Lakers, and didn't travel to Cleveland for tonight's game against Deng and the Cavs. The Bulls are back home on Friday, but KC Johnson says there's concern this injury may last 'a while'.

You may figure it doesn't matter since Hinrich has been terrible this season. But as he himself knows, the replacement is usually sub-replacement level, and thus he'll at least be missed to the point where it'll will be written about how much he's missed, and thus will get more guaranteed money from the Bulls forever. So crafty, this 'injury'.

Case in point: the new backup PG will be former Bull Mike James, who returns on a 10-day contract. James is 67 years old and can't play anymore, but yet did once earn his spot over Marquis Teague in the rotation before suffering a knee sprain. He was then released shortly after the Bulls signed DJ Augustin earlier this season. With the recent trade of Teague, the Bulls were a bit further under the luxury tax than before, so they can throw some money at 10-day band-aids like this.

Why sign James instead of rolling the dice on a D-Leaguer? It's probably indication that they don't think Hinrich will be out that long*, so give Thibodeau the guy he wants who already knows his system. Though it's no longer a championship season it isn't exactly a development one either, if you couldn't tell.

*(on the contrary, after looking at the schedule I predict Hinrich will play two games in March against the Sixers then sit the ones against the Pacers to help 'the record')